Role of the bilayer in the shape of the isolated erythrocyte membrane
ABSTRACT The determinants of cell shape were explored in a study of the crenation (spiculation) of the isolated erythrocyte membrane. Standard ghosts prepared in 5 mM NaPi (pH 8) were plump, dimpled disks even when prepared from echinocytic (spiculated) red cells. These ghosts became crenated in the presence of isotonic saline, millimolar levels of divalent cations, 1 mM 2,4-dinitrophenol or 0.1 mM lysolecithin. Crenation was suppressed in ghosts generated under conditions of minimal osmotic stress, in ghosts from red cells partially depleted of cholesterol, and, paradoxically, in ghosts from red cells crenated by lysolecithin. The susceptibility of ghosts to crenation was lost with time; this process was potentiated by elevated temperature, low ionic strength, and traces of detergents or chlorpromazine. In that ghost shape was influenced by a variety of amphipaths, our results favor the premise that the bilayer and not the subjacent protein reticulum drives ghost crenation. The data also suggest that vigorous osmotic hemolysis induces a redistribution of lipids between the two leaflets of the bilayer which affects membrane contour through a bilayer couple mechanism. Subsequent relaxation of that metastable distribution could account for the observed loss of crenatability.
- SourceAvailable from: Sergey V Rudenko
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- "It could explain several other observations directly or indirectly related to the erythrocyte shape, suggesting its plausibility  . The other view is, however, that bilayer has a dominant role while skeleton plastically accommodates the contours imposed upon it by the overlying membrane  . "
ABSTRACT: Morphological response (MR) of red blood cells represents a triphasic sequence of spontaneously occurring shape transformation between different shape states upon transfer the cells into isotonic sucrose solution in the order: S(0) (initial discoid shape in physiological saline)-->S(1) (echinocytic shape at the beginning of MR, phase 1)-->S(2) (intermediate discoid shape, phase 2)-->S(3) (final stomatocytic shape, phase 3). In this paper, the dynamics of cell shape changes was investigated by non-invasive light fluctuation method and optical microscopy. Among 12 possible transitions between four main shape states, we experimentally demonstrate here an existence of nine transitions between neighbour or remote states in this sequence. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we may conclude that red blood cells are able to change their shape through direct transitions between four main states except transition S(1)-->S(0), which has not been identified yet. Some shape transitions and their temporal sequence are in accord with predictions of bilayer couple concept, whereas others for example transitions between remote states S(3)-->S(1), S(1)-->S(3) and S(3)-->S(0) are difficult to explain based solely on the difference in relative surface areas of both leaflets of membrane suggesting more complex mechanisms involved. Our data show that MR could represents a phenomenon in which the major role can play pH and chloride-sensitive sensor and switching mechanisms coupled with transmembrane signaling thus involving both cytoskeleton and membrane in coordinated shape response on changes in cell ionic environment.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2010; 1798(9):1767-78. DOI:10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.05.010 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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- "The next step toward a full understanding of the cell-shape transformations should be to relate the area difference between the leaflets with the changes in the medium's ionic strength and the transmembrane potential. Lange et al.  and Grebe et al.  have considered the electrostatic repulsion between charged residues in membrane surface as an expansive force, which can create the area difference between the leaflets. As this electrostatic repulsion can be quantitatively predicted by the electric double layer theory , the coupling of the latter with a membrane-mechanical model, like that in , would lead to the construction of a complete quantitative theory of the stomatocyte–echinocyte transformation. "
ABSTRACT: This study represents an attempt to achieve a better understanding of the stomatocyte-echinocyte transition in the shape of red blood cells. We determined experimentally the index of cell shape at various ionic strengths and osmolarities for native and trypsin-treated human erythrocytes. For every given composition of the outer phase, we calculated the ionic strength in the cells and the transmembrane electric potential using a known theoretical model. Next, we described theoretically the electric double layers formed on both sides of the cell membrane, and derived expressions for the tensions of the two membrane leaflets. Taking into account that the cell-shape index depends on the tension difference between the two leaflets, we fitted the experimental data with the constructed physicochemical model. The model, which agrees well with the experiment, indicates that the tension difference between the two leaflets is governed by the different adsorptions of counterions at the two membrane surfaces, rather than by the direct contribution of the electric double layers to the membrane tension. Thus, with the rise of the ionic strength, the counterion adsorption increases stronger at the outer leaflet, whose stretching surface pressure becomes greater, and whose area expands relative to that of the inner leaflet. Hence, there is no contradiction between the bilayer-couple hypothesis and the electric double layer theory, if the latter is upgraded to account for the effect of counterion-adsorption on the membrane tension. The developed quantitative model can be applied to predict the shape index of cells upon a stomatocyte-discocyte-echinocyte transformation at varying composition of the outer medium.Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces 04/2004; 34(2):123-40. DOI:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2003.12.011 · 4.15 Impact Factor
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- "Consequently, the shape transformation brought about by amphiphilic molecules led to the hypothesis that the lipid bilayer could be the primary determinant of membrane curvature . It is also postulated  that the reticulum is able to preserve, but not to impose, the membrane contour. "
ABSTRACT: Glycocalyx, the characteristic first line of interaction between membrane and environment, can be visualized as a polyelectrolyte anchored to a bending-resistant matrix. This structure has an amazing resemblance with the ionized monolayers, in which, the cohesion among hydrocarbon chains is counteracted by the repulsion among similarly charged ionic heads, and thus the balance determines the curvature of the membrane. Likewise, it could be assumed that in biological membranes, repulsion among similarly charged groups in the glycocalyx could generate different curving trends. Hence, the factors directly influencing the electrostatic interaction among surface charged groups were studied, assessing the effect of the medium's ionic strength (mu) and pH, in an extensive range of values around the physiological one. The results point out mu variations inducing different shapes, depending on whether mu values were lower or higher than the physiological ones; which could be explained by the polyelectrolyte theory. The occurrence of more invaginated shapes as the medium's pH decreases, and the opposite event, when the pH increases, could be attributed to the coupling between the dissociation of the glycocalyx ionic groups and the H+ concentration. The behavior of the cells with reduced surface charges (by neuraminidase degradation) supports the hypothesis that the observed mu and the pH effect on erythrocyte shape could be mediated by glycocalyx charged groups.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/1998; 1372(2):198-204. DOI:10.1016/S0005-2736(98)00057-1 · 4.66 Impact Factor